Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

The story behind how Tom Brady ended up wearing KT Tape during AFC championship

Ryan Hannable
January 22, 2018 - 8:22 pm

Would Tom Brady be able to play in the AFC championship game after suffering a cut during Wednesday’s practice? That was the talk of New England last week.

The quarterback needed 12 stitches and even Brady himself was worried for a bit, which he revealed Monday morning on Kirk & Callahan. In the end, Brady was able to play thanks to a piece of black extreme KT Tape. KT Tape is an elastic sports tape designed to relieve pain while supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Exactly how it got into, or onto, Brady’s hand started across the country in Glendale, Arizona last Thursday night.

KT Tape marketing brand manager, Jacki Cassady, was at her booth during a professional baseball athletic training conference when a man approached her with a unique request.

He only said he was a professional doctor to athletes and he said he had a player on the Patriots that needed to be taped up with very specific requirements. The tape needed to cover stitches on a thumb, but have the thumb still be as flexible as possible. That was the only information the doctor provided, and did not say his name.

The black extreme tape was too big for a thumb, so the 10-inch strip was cut in half and tested on the doctor’s thumb. His assistant took pictures of the taped-up thumb and presumably sent them to the Patriots back in Foxboro.

“That was a pretty specific request, and the fact that he wanted to take pictures and sent them back to a trainer — a lot of times when people want tape they want an actual application, but that wasn’t an actual application because he didn’t really want it,” Cassady said via phone Monday. “If it was a wrist wrap it would have had two strips and it would have gone around the wrist, so it was a very specific request.”

The doctor asked how quickly the tape could get to Foxboro because the team needed it ahead of Sunday’s game and Cassady directed him to KT Tape’s vice president of sales, Ed Terris.

Terris was in Philadelphia at a soccer coaches conference when he got a text from Cassady asking if he could get the tape to New England before Sunday. After saying yes and getting in touch with the doctor, Terris returned to his hotel room and put together a package to ship. He included a roll of black extreme tape and a pack of blister patches. The patches are made of an advanced hydrocolloid gel that conforms easily to the skin and stays in place during athletic activity, which goes on before the tape.

Terris then went to the front desk and ensured the box would get to the Patriots by Saturday, which it did via FedEx.

From there it was out of KT Tape’s hands and onto Brady’s. Like millions of others, Cassady, Terris and other KT Tape employees watched the Patriots take on the Jaguars, with the KT Tape logo plastered on Brady’s right hand in several shots.

“The bottom line was, where that tape was cut in half and the piece that they used had our logo on it. That’s amazing,” Terris said. “They could have cut the other side and [it would have just looked like a regular black piece of tape.]”

For Brady, that black piece of tape did the trick as he led the Patriots from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to a 24-20 win over the Jaguars. The victory of course, earned them a second straight trip to the Super Bowl.

“It didn’t look good there for a little bit, but fortunately, Thursday, I didn’t practice, I took some time off. Friday, did just a little bit and things kind of felt a lot better on Saturday and [Sunday] I was just able to kind of do what I needed to do,” Brady said on Kirk & Callahan. “Everyone deals with injuries. It is just part of the season and part of the year. The timing and where exactly it was wasn’t the best thing in the world for a quarterback, but it is what it is.”

The Patriots politely declined comment, so it is unclear whether the team explored options other than KT Tape.

Brady said the stitches are expected to be removed this week and therefore will likely not need to wear the tape in the Super Bowl, although the KT Tape team certainly wouldn’t mind seeing their logo during the big game.

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